DENVER (CBS4)– A Denver man accused of sexually assaulting a developmentally disabled victim has been found guilty by a Denver jury in a case that utilized a new Colorado law allowing hearsay evidence in cases involving developmentally disabled victims.
Ennio Daniel was convicted at trial of two counts of sexual assault on an at-risk adult and one count of second-degree kidnapping of a victim of sexual assault.
The charges allege that Daniel, 51, an acquaintance of the victim, lured her into his car under the pretense of going on a group outing in April 2011. Instead he sexually assaulted her in three separate attacks on the same day.
He was convicted this week following a trial in which the victim’s recorded statement to a forensic interviewer was admitted as evidence.
Until the passage of House Bill 1085 earlier this year, a jury would not have been allowed to hear such evidence.
Representative Rhonda Fields sponsored the legislation.
“People with developmental disabilities are often victimized because they are vulnerable, and then they are victimized again when their cases are not prosecuted. This law offers these victims an opportunity for equal access to justice. I want to thank Chief Deputy DA Maggie Conboy and Chief Deputy DA Adrienne Greene for their tenacity and advocacy on behalf of disabled victims of crime,” said Fields.
Daniel remains in custody in the Denver Detention Center and faces an indeterminate to life sentence when he appears for sentencing Jan. 28, 2013.